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Wolfgang Mozart

Eugenics

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Hi again,

 

I was wondering if anyone believes eugenics, if applied in a manner most would accept as humane and ethical, would be a good idea.

 

A few years ago when searching the internet for why I personally was not really that bright and had to stuggle in school and in college right now, while my sibling was extremely intelligent and quickly and without difficulty earned a Bachelor's Degree in science, I came across the site of http://www.neoeugenics.com/ I read about IQ, psychometrics, personality types, eugenics/dysgenics, genetic engineering, cloning, and similar topics. I found out that IQ is mostly genetic and that this is why I personally was not as successful as many others.

 

So, I ask myself, why not try to help future children by making sure they all get the best of genes available? I, from personal experience, knew what it felt like to have learning disorders and just an average IQ at best, and felt resentful at how smarter people took for granted their higher intellect without really appreciating it. The consensus among the smart is that it is good to have stupid people and that they deserve to be as such and that they are needed to clean the toilets and take out the garbage of the smart people, so thus it would not be in the best interest of smart people to support eugenics.

 

The problem of course is that eugenics is often tied to stories of genocide and greatly inhumane acts. But, if we look at the history of religion, medicine, and the like, everything can be taken to extremes, but it does not have to be.

 

Eugenics can be mild: we can encourage brighter people to have more children and the welfare class to have fewer children. Also, with the emerging genetic engineering technology and cloning, all parents can have bright children.

 

As a non-White person, I of course don't support race-based eugenics, but rather one in which smart people, regardless of race, is valued, and less intelligent people, regardless of race, is something people would wish they could help to become more intelligent, if technology would allow.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

Regards,

 

Wolfgang Mozart

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It wouldn't work, nor could it be made to work, nor would I agree with any attempt to justify it. Ethically the concept of eugenics is fundamentally flawed from the start as it is based upon value judgements concerning entire sections of the population made by another section of the same population. Moreover, the resulting population wouldn't be functional. An entire population of any specific type could not work.

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I agree with Glider. My understanding of intelligence has always been that it's a mix of genes and environment. Genes may set the potential, but the environment determines whether or not that potential is realized. I would rather see more done to give each child the chance to make the most of his or her genes instead of trying to give each child identical genes. Besides, genes that may be maladaptive in one set of circumstances may be more useful in another situation, so I'm leery of any proposal to reduce genetic diversity.

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I like natural selection better, as it doesn't give a toss about silly things like IQ tests.

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Don't forget that IQ tests are not always accurate, and that einstein, for instance, was concidered to be an awful student in school, and that his teachers thought he'd end up cleaning streets.

 

Besides, with today's science, some of the brightest people (note: those who thought of string theory) are concidered idiots until finally (years later mostly, sometimes after their deaths in worse occasions) they manage to show their geniousity.

 

I find "smartness" more relating to the way a person things, not WHAT he thinks. If a persona has an open mind, it doesnt matter how "fast" he thinks or how well he spells. It matters that he would have good ideas, good ways of improving things even if we will find that out years after he (or she) died.

 

I really hope you stop beating yourself up over those things. As I said, Einstein had "learning disorders" and was concidered a terrible student. Juls Vern was concidered to be a crazy freak, and I can name many many others.

If you have something you want, and you believe in it enough, it doesn't matter how "slow" in comparison to others you think or how much you think you have a low IQ.

Look at the world - no one's perfect ;)

 

If .. err.. that made sense and you got my point (Sorry for being a bit messy I just finished a huge holiday dinner with about 5 cups of wine and I think I better go to bed).

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I'm not sure that people can be classified as smart and not-smart anyway. People are just different. I think people's minds just work differently not faster or slower, or better or worse. Some people are good in thinking about and understanding abstact ideas, some have better spacial skills,others are perceptive, some can memorize facts, and some have good life skills that you can't learn in school, some can tell other people's emotions, some are inventive and creative, everyone is different. It's not really fair for someone to say that someone isn't as smart because it's not that they aren't smart it's that they think in a different way.

Besides, in a population where the the people are biased against "not-smart" people would be fair for the people considered "less smart" and there would be no real way to test for the inteligence of a person anyway, the IQ test itself has been considered "obsolete" for a while now.

 

Edit-sure put a lot of " " didnt' I? Sry about that.

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Eugenics isn't exactly a good idea. Attempting to select only the "desired" genes would decrease genetic diversity. Besides, we've come so far with natural selection.

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I agree completely, Photovet.

 

If we start tampering with nature, I believe we may get nature to kick us back in the ass.

 

Not a very good idea...

 

~moo

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I have a lot to say about eugenics, but ill save it for tomorrow.

 

Wolfgang Mozart: The fact that you can research a topic and make an intelligent post about it in well written English is proof enough that you are worthy of reproduction. An average IQ is nothing to be ashamed of; the test is not perfect. Your trouble in school is by no means an indication of your genetic quality; many people do not function well in the usual school system. However, if you have a long family history of a very low intelligence, you might want to reconsider.

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From a biological point of view eugenics goes against the point of hybrid vigour, which advocates a wide gene pool is the way a species survives. From an ethical view point (as others have said before) who can say what is "best" in our society. Just because someone isn't considered intellegent based upon our flawed system of judgement does not mean they aren't gifted at something - I have yet to meet a person that does not have a talent at something.

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Well, that's not what Hitler or some earlier Anthropologists said.

 

Then again, let's not bring forth the interesting history of something I love. :D

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From an ethical view point (as others have said before) who can say what is "best" in our society.

 

Society can. That is why democracy exists.

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Given that "giftedness" is utterly random, there's no difference whatsoever between gifted people being eliminated through eugenics, accident, disease or selective pressure.

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Anomalies are aventually GOOD for evolution. They make the race stronger, and anomalies ARE aventually a huge step in human evolution - those are rapid evolutionary changes (therefore "unadapt" yet) and still changes that make a good adaptation to our environment.

 

You eliminate that, you end up eliminating humans.

 

You can't possibly know what's a GOOD stage and whats a BAD stage in evolutionary process. Not anymore. Not when we have turned this planet to a evolution-race with all the enormous evironmental changes we caused, and our bodies helplessly try to adapt to.

 

~moo

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Anomalies are aventually GOOD for evolution. They make the race stronger, and anomalies ARE aventually a huge step in human evolution - those are rapid evolutionary changes (therefore "unadapt" yet) and still changes that make a good adaptation to our environment.

Substitute "are" for "can be".

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Society can. That is why democracy exists.

 

No, society can act on what it thinks (in the majority) is best - this is not absolute. Whilst mistakes can be tolerated at a certain level, I don't think that eugenic transformation of the gene pool based on a set of criteria that could be flawed is an ethically sound prinicipal.

 

Also, sadly, our democracies are flawed, especially in the states, where you effectively elect a monarch and a feudal hierarchy and they tell you what to do. The unfettered executive authority of the President of the United States is quite astounding. But I digress...

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No, society can act on what it thinks (in the majority) is best - this is not absolute. Whilst mistakes can be tolerated at a certain level, I don't think that eugenic transformation of the gene pool based on a set of criteria that could be flawed is an ethically sound prinicipal.

The original post seems to have been carefully worded to avoid the quagmire of ethical debate.

 

This thread is about society acting in the best interests of society, as determined by that society.

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Substitute "are" for "can be".

Yep, okay. Point is, no one knows if the specific anomaly is good or not. We'll ahve to (wow, a concept!) give evolution some time to work its magic.

 

:)

 

Also, sadly, our democracies are flawed..

Duh, dude. Every government and ruling is FLAWED. We're human. We can't stand the concept of perfect and we are aspiring for power and control. Of course they're flawed. That's why in terms of human LIFE I believe we need to leave it to NATURE. Not governments.

 

By the way - I wish I could believe it's SOCIETY that makes the decisions. Unfortunately, governments rarely truely do what society wants.

 

~moo

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Yep, okay. Point is, no one knows if the specific anomaly is good or not. We'll ahve to (wow, a concept!) give evolution some time to work its magic.

That doesn't really tell us anything though.

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It tells us that there are limits we shouldn't cross.

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It tells us that there are limits we shouldn't cross.

Limits on what?

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We don't understand eveything around us. I wish we did, but we honestly DON'T. We PRETEND to know so we could justify that to play with our own existance - like play with genes, and mutate cells and such.

 

Fact is, we don't know how those things will "bite us in the ass" later on. We don't, because we don't have enough information about how nature works. We TRUELY don't. Sepcially with our own pittiful evolutionary existance.

 

Now, when you see a little kid reaching for a ticking bomb, you slap his wrist and tell him DONT MESS WITH IT, OR IT'LL BLOW! You don't mean "don't study it" or "don't look at it", you just mean to proctect that kid from being exploded to tiny bits by playing with something he has no understanding in.

 

This is what I mean here, too. We need to continue exporing, and we need to continue debating and phylosophying and checking our options and experimenting -- but the moment we take severe actions, such as deciding we know best and get rid of certain.. "anomalies".. we don't know where its going to lead.

Forget about ETHICS.

I amtalking about EXISTANCE.

 

In the long run, ridding society from anomalies can lead to a lot worse than we think.

Just like playing with our genes can lead to genetic anomalies and deseases, because we don't know the full mechanism of the human genome.

 

 

~moo

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The original post seems to have been carefully worded to avoid the quagmire of ethical debate.

 

This thread is about society acting in the best interests of society' date=' as determined [i']by[/i] that society.

 

Okay, simple. Society could not act in the best interests of society as it would be shutting down contingency. No-one knows what will affect our species in the future and which genetic make-up would be most suited to survive these future challenges. We may think creating a set of obermench-style blonde blue-eyed genii will help us now, but in the long term it will make our species more vulerable to attack by pathogens. The tallest wheatsheaves get knocked down by the wind.

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I think a certain amount of Eugenics is inevitable, not the elimination of "bad" genes through sterilization but through the introduction of genetic engineering. Some parents will do virtually anything to ensure that their children succeed, including genetic engineering. Now that the human genome has been mapped, over the next few decades we will learn what these genes code for. Soon the ability to choose sperm/egg combinations that are "superior" to others will be available (like the movie Gatica). Some parents will choose to go this route, hoping to ensure success for their children. As the technology gets better these children will begin displaying "superior" abilities. Everyone else will be left with the choice of conceiving children that are at potential disadvantage or participating as well.

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I think a certain amount of Eugenics is inevitable, not the elimination of "bad" genes through sterilization but through the introduction of genetic engineering. Some parents will do virtually anything to ensure that their children succeed, including genetic engineering. Now that the human genome has been mapped, over the next few decades we will learn what these genes code for. Soon the ability to choose sperm/egg combinations that are "superior" to others will be available (like the movie Gatica). Some parents will choose to go this route, hoping to ensure success for their children. As the technology gets better these children will begin displaying "superior" abilities. Everyone else will be left with the choice of conceiving children that are at potential disadvantage or participating as well.

 

I don't you can create successful people, they have to have the right environment to grow in as well. That aside, we must make sure that genetic engineering for eugenic purposes is not available on the market or we will end up with a Gatica scenario, with a genetic underclass. Companies would be quick to employ people with "good" genes, thus denying some people opportunities, which would be determental for us as a species (i.e. the greatest scientist known to man might be denied work at the top institutions due to the fact that they have a defect gene coding for the heart for instance). The fact is that genes code for possibilities, our environment actually makes us who we are.

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